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Speedrum Is An MPC-Style Drum Sampler For Your DAW (WINNERS ANNOUNCED)

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Apisonic Labs releases Speedrum (€49), an MPC-style drum/percussion sampler plugin. We are taking a closer look at the full version of Speedrum and giving away three free copies of the software to three lucky BPB readers.

Speedrum is the powerful but easy-to-use bigger brother of the free Speedrum Lite sampler plugin which we covered last year. If you’ve ever used the MPC2 or MPC Beats software, Speedrum will look and feel familiar to you.

Akai Professional’s MPC, in its various forms, has played a pioneering role in music production for decades. Stories of the late, great J Dilla turning off the quantize function (or not reading the manual) on his MPC 3000 still inspire beatmakers/producers today.

Dilla wasn’t the only musician to adopt that dragging-the-beat style. D’Angelo went a step further with his “playing drunk” approach to the Voodoo record; starting with the drum kit, each musician would drag the beat behind the last.

I know we aren’t discussing hardware or musical feel, but given half a chance to mention Dilla or D’Angelo, I generally will.

And if you’re searching for an MPC-like sampler for your DAW, Speedrum is well worth a look.

What is Speedrum?

Speedrum offers 32 pads, essential effects, and eight sample layers per pad. Like the MPC, Speedrum starts with a default layout of sixteen pads with two banks (A/B).

The pads are on the left in the default layout, with all effects on the right. If you step out of the default layout, the AB view shows all 32 pads, but only one effect at a time.

Speedrum by Apisonic Labs

Here’s a closer look at the Speedrum drum sampler by Apisonic Labs.

Effects (per pad) include multiple Distortion types, a Multi-mode Filter, Transient Shaper, and Compressor. Volume/pitch Envelopes and Humanize settings for Velocity, Pitch, Time, and Pan expand on per pad sound-shaping options.

Speedrum has the same fast workflow as the MPC software. A browser opens on the right of the resizable GUI, from which you can simply drag and drop samples onto pads.

All pads and knobs have MIDI-learn capability, making it easy to use a controller, like an MPC/MPD or a keyboard with pads. Using a physical controller is sometimes the best way to get the most out of software like Speedrum, especially core pad functions like cut/choke.

The eight sample layers per pad can be arranged with a simple drag and drop functionality, too. Editing each layer includes basic parameters and Lowpass/Highpass filters. You can add a greater level of humanization with layer settings like Round Robin and Random.

A simple Waveform Editor lets you make more direct changes to each sample, like start/stop points, length, Attack, and Decay.

Check out the demo video below to see Speedrum in action:

Speedrum has definitely taken a leaf out of the MPC playbook, and it’s a workflow style that I really like. Even users who don’t have experience with the MPC should be whizzing around this GUI in no time.

It offers plenty of ways to manipulate samples and create unique beats/percussion. More importantly, it does so in a way that everything is clear and easily/quickly accessible.

Speedrum is available in VST, VST3, and AU formats. It is currently at version 1.0.7 which includes the latest bug fixes and improvements.

If you want to check out Speedrum, you can either download Speedrum Lite or the Speedrum demo. The demo version is fully functional, apart from the fact that it won’t load the previously saved state (on plugin reload).

Speedrum Giveaway

Apisonic Labs kindly offered to give away three FREE copies of Speedrum to three lucky BPB readers. A huge THANK YOU goes to our friends at Apisonic Labs for sponsoring the giveaway! 🥳

To enter, simply leave a comment below answering this question: What is your favorite drum machine?

Only one comment per person is allowed. We will randomly (using a software-based random comment picker) select the three lucky winners on Monday, September 6th.

The lucky winners are:

1) Fyrelite: f************[email protected]

2) Shateek Pinchinat: g**********[email protected]

3) Chris D: v**********[email protected]

Congratulations to our lucky winners. You will receive an email from Apisonic Labs with your prize.

Everyone else, better luck next time and thanks for reading BPB! ❤️

More info: Speedrum (€49)

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About Author

James is a musician and writer from Scotland. An avid synth fan, sound designer, and coffee drinker. Sometimes found wandering around Europe with an MPC in hand.

466 Comments

  1. My favorite drum machine is the Roland TR 808, because iconic duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis still used this drum machine in there Production, they’re have always been a HUGE inspiration to me!

  2. Murray Fenton

    on

    Sound Master SR88 – my first ever drum machine. many have bettered it but fond memories of squeezing some incredible rhythms from the SR88.

  3. My favorite drum machine is the classic TR808. That sound defined my generation (70’s baby 80’s kid). I hoping to win a new favorite withthis post!

  4. Phil B. Warno

    on

    Not perfect, but the Kong Drum Designer! A few tweaks here and there…And hands down it’s my favorite. Lol…

    Thanks!

  5. Jared Morrisey

    on

    Hands down winner for me is the SP-1200. So simple yet such a beast.

    (Not knocking anyone’s answer or anything.. I guess it’s just shows how different the question can be interpreted depending on what you’re familiar with or used to using. I just have a hard time calling any software a drum machine. My brain just won’t allow it. Nothing against them tho.. and I do use plenty of them. Hope I don’t get flamed for saying that. Lol)

  6. I use Native Instruments Maschine MK2. Naturally, being an old school hip hop head/producer my alltime favorite Drum Machine undubatably has to be the MPC2500/3k.. If you came up in the 90’z the MPC was standard operation lol. It’what the best/greatest producers of alltimes have used essentially. So naturally as a producer you always aspire to own all the gear/equip that all the Major, legendendary big wig producers have,/use ahah.

  7. For a software based Drum Machine it actually is Speedrum, if I was making music like that I would pay full price.. waiting for Blk Fri or a deep discount at some point.

  8. Alfredo Norese

    on

    My favourite physical drum machine is the Roland R8 and in software Izotope Idrum both old but still great!

  9. Have to admit a soft spot for those Dr Rhythm machines, because that was what I had available when I was learning.

  10. I don’t know if it’s a drum machine, but the Roland Octapad/Spd series from the mid-1990s has been in my ears and my personal taste since I was a kid, so if I had to pick one, that would be the one.

  11. I currently use the FPC for drums. But after checking the manual Speedrum is more than enough of a step up to justify the price. I’ve been looking for years for something between FPC and Geist and this looks like it. Sample reverse alone would have been enough for me to get excited.

  12. Hey, I guess it would be a real LinnDrum.
    But currently, the R5K manager within Reaper is my goto “drum machine” :)

  13. OnlyOneNeuron

    on

    At the moment I use Mashine, it is very powerful and flexible, but of course paid.
    Now Speedrum Free is far, far, the best drum machine I’ve ever come across.
    Easy, comfortable, light, wonderful. An all-rounder when it comes to cpu. Says one who has searched and tried tons of free drum machines.
    I was with Sitala a lot, very good too, but Seedrum surpasses her.
    The only thing missing in almost all of them is the possibility of having a step sequencer, at least a simple one, that can drag and drop the midi from the percussion idea to the daw.

  14. My very 1st real drum machine was the TR-505.Poise was my go to drum sampler vst for a good while. Battery is me fav now.

  15. Hi, there are so many cool drum machines out there, it’s hard to say which one is my favorite. Of course I like the classics, but if I had to choose, it would currently be the “Techno System” by Erica Synths.
    Good luck to all.

  16. gary goldfinch

    on

    Have to say my old Boss 550 II, limited but got so much done with it back in my bedroom hardware days. Software-wise I love psychic modulation now discontinued Construct, so many great sounds and features.

  17. my favorite is actually the DM1 app on the iPhone… I just find it the most usable and understandable for my own purposes, and I end up using it the most

  18. I know it’s whatever but whatever. The 808 kick drum makes the girlies get dumb. So I’m going with the TR-808.

  19. I don’t own any classic drum machine, but I use Studio One’s Impact XT plugin in combination with my Presonus Atom pad controller. I like the workflow and the ease to program and control DAW.

  20. In the world of VSTs then Speedrum Lite is a great little sampler for quick, simple workflows. For more ‘tweakability’ I’d go for Steven Slate. And for something a bit different (and free!) check out Royotoms by Alan Vista.

  21. Now this Speedrum looks Very interesting!

    As for the giveaway question… Oooo this is a hard one! I like several, but I do quite like the sound of the CR 78

    Awesome website Tom, keep up the fantastic work ^_^

  22. Eons Follower

    on

    Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 UW+ MKII
    Elektron Analog Rytm MKII
    Dave Smith Instruments Tempest
    Jomox Alpha Base
    MFB Tanzbar 2
    MPC Live II
    Gotharman’s SpazeDrum
    Vermona DRM1 MKIV

  23. Fav drum machine is patterning 2 on iOS! Awesome workflow, flexible time, tons of randomization and other tweaks, intuitive all the way down.

  24. Matt Thurgood

    on

    As a classic Detroit Techno fan, it’s the Roland TR-909 for me, although I also love Native Instruments’ Polyplex, which is a Reaktor ensemble capable of amazing results with very little effort.

  25. TR808 Roland.
    .I’ve never actually owned one of these but have been hands on with them from time to time with various models over the years.

  26. On the way I came across a lot of good percussion instruments, but more than others I liked Sitala & Speedrum Lite.) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  27. My heart is my favorite drum machine.

    If that doesn’t qualify as a real answer, the only hardware drum machine I’ve played with is technically not even a drum machine, but I’ll go with the Korg Kaossilator Pro+ because it’s still really fun to improv and make weird beats and loops.

  28. Wykalin L Powell

    on

    Currently living the customizable options on Sitala as a VST on Studio One. Although I love the Kong and Redrum only because I started with Reason as my first DAW.

  29. Best drums for me are from EMu Proteus MPS, and Elektron Digitakt.
    But this could use those samples!
    Thanks for the great give away!

  30. Matt John Fisher

    on

    My favourite drum machine is the TRusty 909 from Roland. Been using kontakt and Sitala for a while but this would be perfect

  31. Joshua Langberg

    on

    I have had every 909 and 808 clone, nothing beats the Vermona DRM1 mkiii!
    I’ll take a wide range sounds me without presets made from discrete analog circuitry, over digital control any day!

  32. Not sure if it’s a drum machine, but NI Battery sounds great.
    Izotope BreakTweaker is super for flavour.
    Pure drum machine, love the 606, but not it’s workflow.

  33. It’s hard to pick a favorite drum machine, but I would have to say BOOM by Air Music Technology. A close second is their other machine, DRUMSYNTH500. I’m also a HUGE fan of KONG Drum Designer, SugarBytes Drum Computer, Kilohearts Heartbeat, BeatSkillz Retro Hit and Synthwave Drums, and for an honorable mention: Izotope Breaktweaker. Please note that these are all VSTs, as I dont currently own (nor ever have had) a hardware Drum machine/Drum Synth. If I were to buy one though, it would definitely be the Drumbrute Impact. I’m currently looking at starting off with the Korg Volca Physical Modeling Drum Synth.

  34. Wow! Thank you so much, Tom and Apisonic Labs. I can’t wait to get started playing with this! ^_^
    I get hundreds of emails every few days – most get deleted or sidelined – but yours are the ones I look forward to the most. Thanks for creating such a handy blog and being an invaluable source of information on new deals and freebies for all of us here :)

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